Phobias are unrealistic fears of particular things. There seems to be irony in that statement to the person suffering from the phobia. It is extremely real to them. I have a phobia of flying. I think it’s actually a fear of heights. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if the plane had engine trouble, it can’t pull over to the “curb” and flag down help.
And of course, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s thought of the possibility that it could very well run out of gas at 30,000 feet because gas is too high right now to completely fill the tank. When I fill my gas tank, I can only go to the store and back, so how can this plane make it to Chicago?
There have been those that have tried to “comfort” me when I was about to board a plane with the words, “It is safer to fly than to drive.” This comment comes from my sister who nearly died in a car crash in 2003. My brother, who designs interiors of jets, explains to me that I am only afraid because I just don’t understand aeronautics.
I agreed with him. I can’t understand how tons of steel can float on air. He laughs and says that it’s because the plane is flying at the speed of about 600 mph. Wait a minute. Six...hundred...miles...per...hour? I almost checked my baggage in until he said that. Do brakes work if you have to slam on them at 600 mph?
My mom chimes in at this point, “Don’t be silly, there’s no reason for a plane to have to slam on its brakes when you’re in the sky. There’s nothing else up there except other planes. And they don’t fly close enough to each other to collide.” Wow, I hadn’t even thought of that possibility.
At this point, I’m stepping back away from the security check-in. My dad leans forward and gently takes hold of my arm. “Come on now sweetheart, you don’t want to act suspicious. They might think you are a terrorist with a bomb in your purse.”
A few moments later, I felt a cool cloth brushing across my face and I heard my mother’s calm voice saying, “Can you hear me? Wake up… you’ll miss your flight. They just announced that they are boarding. Hurry, if you miss this one and have to catch the next one, you’ll be flying right through a terrible storm.”
The next time I woke up, I was in the car with my family pulling out of the airport. So, I don’t really know why I’m so afraid, maybe I should try to think more positive. Or maybe I should call a taxi to take me to the airport from now on. Ya’ think?